Lectio divina is a truly powerful prayer. It’s a prayer with a formula to follow rather than specific words to say and meditate on. In these lectio divina posts I have been using the upcoming Sunday Gospel readings. However, you can use this anytime you are reading your Bible (just stop when a word or phrase catches your attention and go from there). Remember that this is a prayer and thus you want to find a quiet place and set aside some time in which to devote to it.
Definitely read Scripture whenever you can and however you are able. That is most important. In addition to this, a great goal is to set aside 15-20 minutes at least once a week to pray in the manner of lectio divina. Once a day would be great, but start with once a week and see how it goes.
To follow along with me on this lectio divina prayer time, you will want to have the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday, November 6, ready. If you need to review the steps of lectio divina you can find a quick outline from St. Meinrad Archabbey. Remember to read the Gospel passage at the start of each of the four sections below (the ones that start with an “R” word).
What caught my attention:
“deny that there is a resurrection”
“can no longer die”
“all are alive”
REFLECT: What is God saying to you?
As a child, the thought of death scared me beyond anything I could imagine. I used to lay in bed wondering whether death would be nothing but emptiness where we cease to exist or if there was something beyond this world. As I have grown in my faith I definitely believe in God and heaven and that we will all be resurrected one day.
Reading Sunday’s Gospel passage I noticed something I had never noticed before. At the very beginning Luke tells us that these Sadducees deny there there will be a resurrection. I had always looked at this passage as being about marriage (yea, I know, I’m clueless sometimes!). While marriage is part of it, the main point is that the resurrection is real.
God didn’t intend for humans to die, he wanted us to live with him forever like the angels. With original sin that relationship was broken, but Jesus offers a way to repair it. If we live faithful, worthy lives we will rise again, body and soul, and join God and the angels and saints in heaven.
I can’t imagine how the Sadducees reacted to Jesus response. Did it satisfy them? Did it give them hope? Did it make them reconsider their position? Or did they just walk away mumbling about that crazy Jesus and his far out ideas?
For me, reflecting on this, God is telling me to have hope, to be a good steward of all the blessings I have been given, to take care of my body as well as my soul, and to not fear death for the resurrection will be a reality one day. For as Jesus tells us, “he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
RESPOND: What do you want to say to God?
My Lord God, help me to never forget your infinite love for me. Because you love me, I know you want me to live with you forever. So often it is hard to imagine that you can care so much for me, just one very insignificant human among billions. But time and again you remind me that I am one of your children and a loving father never forgets his children. For this reason I know you have plans for me to be with you in heaven one day. I pray that I can be worthy of that special gift when my time comes. Unlike the Sadducees, I do believe and, as we say in our Creed, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
Spend some time in silence after your fourth reading of the passage.
Share in the comments, what do you feel God is saying to you in this passage? How would you respond to him? You can also join the conversation on the Catholic Sistas’ Instagram account, but I’d love to hear your thoughts here too.